What on earth is a bagineer? It’s a made up word of bag and engineer indicating the person is a bag maker. I’ve been working on drafting some bag patterns lately and making a muslin of each one to figure out kinks in the pattern before making them in good fabric. I did go gung ho on one bag thinking it would turn out well without practice in muslin first and there’s some obvious mistakes and need for editing the pattern. At one section I didn’t take a big enough seam allowance and the fabric pulled and now there’s a raw edge showing. Oops.

I’ve been making bags for a while now, mostly zip pouches, but I’ve started to explore new patterns and pattern makers and by doing that it gives me a broader knowledge of bag assembly and techniques. I take these techniques and file them away in my memory bank or at least note, “this pattern designer does this”, so I know where to go look for the information when needed.

So far, I have four patterns in various stages of being drafted or tested. Will I publish them for sale? Probably not. I don’t consider myself a pattern writer and I’d prefer to make these bags for gifts. The four patterns I have in the works are a wine tote, structured project bag with drawstring top, a circular clutch, and what I’m calling a fisherman’s basket tote. It’s not a basket but it has that particular shape.

The wine tote has been in the same stage for a number of years. I made a muslin but I didn’t have enough experience with materials and construction that I haven’t progressed. Just this past week I ordered and received some waxed canvas for another project and I think it might be the fabric for the wine tote. We’ll see how it works out. The goal of the wine tote was to have a free standing bag and something that wasn’t so floppy as quilting cotton alone. I may end up using a foam stabilizer to give it that extra structure. The original design this tote was inspired by is made out of leather so it stands on its own.

I’m so excited to start on the circular clutch. I have had a similar clutch pinned on my purse Pinterest board for a while now but it didn’t occur to me to make it until recently. I think the skill and knowledge wasn’t there yet. I now know how to make gussets to give it some extra width in the bag. I’m looking forward to drafting the pattern as I think it’ll be a quick make when all the measurements and any kinks are worked out.

It’s funny that a lot of the bags that I get inspired by or like don’t usually fit my lifestyle. For example, the circular clutch, I have no idea where I’d use that. I don’t dress up on a regular basis and definitely don’t consider myself a fashionista. I still find accessories beautiful in their shape and color or pattern so I try to emulate that with my own spin on it.

I hope to be able to share pictures of my self drafted patterns and some makes from other pattern designers in the near future.

Happy creating!


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